Tuesday, 23 June 2015

more fun with wire - the little wire bed

I am having so much fun lately!

I've been Pinteresting like crazy, looking up all kinds of wire creations. This one here has been one of my favourites for a long time:

Really beautiful wire art on that blog.

Anyway, I decided it was time to make my own wire bed... I used some of Wayne's copper wire. One meter of it to be exact. When he asked how much I wanted that's what I requested and I was spot on.

Go figure. I measure and cut wood the wrong size. I can't give you a quote on how much time it'll take me to do a job, but I could tell Wayne exactly how much wire I needed to make something I'd never made before!

The thinner wire is also copper, but in a thinner gauge and brown. The little mattress is a thin bit of foam with a hand stitched cover. The cushion is hand stitched and filled with felting wool.

The blanket is a bit of felt I wet felted with a cotton cover to give it a quilted feel, and trimmed with a little antique lace.

This little bed was sold as soon as I showed it at the local shop I sell some of my things through. Its the perfect size for a doll's house. Maybe its cause I've always loved doll's houses and dreamed that one day I'd build my very own dream doll's house from the ground up, but I love making this sort of thing.

I have another bed I'll share soon as I make bedding for it.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

wire work by him

I can't ever say Wayne doesn't give me romantic gifts. He's always making me hearts and flowers out of barbed wire. This is one of his creations, its about 8in tall and made of barbed wire, old roofing iron and a chunk of old wood.

The other day he got some new copper wire and made this cute little cowboy boot. I'd been sending him all kinds of links of cowboy boots made out of wire but Wayne always does things his way. Its a boot with a spur and a lasso.

(Ok, I made the rowel - that's the spikey bit on the spur - cause I wanted it to look cuter.)

Then there's this trapped man. Its a tortured sculpture, isn't it?

I love his wire work. He's so imaginative, which is why I wanted to show off some of his stuff.


Saturday, 20 June 2015

fun with wire - a wire crown

I've always had a thing for wire. I love wire baskets, wire sculpture, wire anything. I love working with wire, only of course I can only work with soft wires. Lately I've been doing a bit more wire work cause its something I can do easily while sitting around watching TV in the evenings.

ie. I haven't been doing any big projects but I've been making some smaller things.

Like this little wire crown made using gold copper wire in two thicknesses, brown copper wire and buttons.

The thick wire is about 2mm thick, the brown wire is 24 gauge and the thin gold wire holding the buttons is 28 gauge.

I made this little crown as a simple decoration, to sit on a shelf or something, but I guess it can be used as as a tiny crown if you put bobby pins on it!


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Thursday, 18 June 2015

a place for everything - even headlamps

Got home the other evening and found a stomach on the garden path.


A stomach.

No hair. No feathers. No head. No beak. No feet.


Just. A. Stomach.

A ruminant's stomach.

Seems the poodles thought it was time to up the challenge for me. Every time I find one of their kills, there's less of it to identify it by. I was able to identify the last specimen by the feathers and some guts.

This time all I got was a stomach. With munched up grass in it. I'd guess rabbit or wallaby... and given they haven't yet caught a rabbit (that I know of), I'd say wallaby.

At this rate I'll soon be an expert at identifying species from the inside out.


Ok. At this point let me just say that I don't like my poodles killing anything, even rats or mice. Though whatever is living in our ceiling is asking for it...

I especially hate it when they kill wildlife or our ducks, chickens or geese. But they have a strong prey drive and they will kill any intruder in their yard. Its a fact of life and I've had to accept that my gorgeous fluffy dogs are real dogs... predators even.

But on a cheerier note, at least a more creative one, I finally created a place for Wayne's huge collection of headlamps.

He has a million of them. Battery operated, rechargeable, you name it, he has it. He bought one so he could go out to feed the horses in the dark. Then he bought a second as a spare. Then he got a rechargeable one. Then he found a brighter one. It goes on and on.

I don't care how many he has. They come in handy when I'm searching the yard for clues such as hair, feathers, a head... What I have a problem with is him recharging them all over the kitchen counters.

I had to create a spot for them which met these requirements:

  1. store all the headlamps in once spot and not all over the house
  2. a spot handy to grab one on the way out 
  3. a spot handy to put it back on the way back in
  4. the ability to store and recharge in one place

I had no idea how to do this. I didn't know what I wanted it to look like or where to put it.

In the end I went for quick and easy. I grabbed a bit of chippy old skirting board I had in the shed, drilled holes in it and jammed in some really big nails. I added a cool chippy green-blue door thingy. Just for fun I painted the heads of the nails pale green-blue to match.

I chose to put this new headlamp hanger on the front porch, in the enclosed area. Unfortunately there's no power there so I had to use a long extension cord going from the outdoor power point in the middle of the porch and a power-board mounted on the wall. I'll be managing the cords better once I find my box of cable clips...

I added this cute half planter basket to hold the chargers.

In order to do all this I had to move a few things over to the other side, so the kitchen window ledge is looking a lot busier.

I'm happy. The headlamps are off the kitchen counter. Wayne is happy cause he no longer has to search for headlamps I've moved.

Win win.


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

wardrobe makeover

I had mentioned in a previous post somewhere that our bedroom has a split personality. Today I'll share how I've frenchified a plain (ugly) pine wardrobe to contribute to the french provincial/white/shabby half of the bedroom's personality.

This is what the ugly wardrobe looked like before.

So, I found these fancy appliques on ebay.

I did the usual:  removed the doors, sanded back them back a bit, glued the appliques on the doors and undercoated them.

I painted the entire wardrobe a creamy white (same colour I used on the dressers I updated here and here). I scrounged through my collection of knobs and handles and found some cute little rusty ring pulls...

That's when things started going downhill.

Did I mention I started this makeover before Christmas?

So... after putting the doors back on the wardrobe, and the handles on the doors, I did a little extra sanding and then rubbed spots of the wardrobe with watered down burnt sienna paint to give it that old patina.

I hated it.

So I repainted it.

And re-sanded it, just enough to show a tiny bit of the grimy-ness left by the burnt sienna. 

Then I waxed it with clear wax, just cause I like the satiny feel.

But there was more to do. It still looked plain and ugly, like someone had just stuck a couple of decorative bits on an ugly old pine wardrobe and painted it white.

Which is pretty much what it was, really.

I wanted a more "armoire" look, so I designed a top for it. I did this by measuring the top of the wardrobe, re-measuring it, then drawing half of my design on a folded piece of paper, cutting it out, unfolding it and tracing it on a piece of pine.

I used my new, more controlled skills on the jigsaw, to cut it out. I only stuffed up a little bit on the top middle bit... the most important bit... but hey, I won't point it out and maybe you won't notice it...

I used my mini router to give the edges a bit of curve. I had to brace the corners to join it together, and I had to provide extra little bits (you can see those on the sides) to screw onto the wardrobe top.

Hey, I make this stuff up as I go along! If you're after professional how-to's you're on the wrong blog!

Here it is on top of the wardrobe (minus the doors. Again.).

Yup. You noticed.

I sure did. 

After I put it on the wardrobe.

The top was too long.

Not by a smidge... by a whole lotta smidges.

And I measured it more than once!

This is why I'm not a carpenter. And why I make wierd things, cause I have to. I have to find ways to fix my mistakes!

I bought some concave trim. Naturally, my overhang was too big for the smaller trim, too small for the next one up.

I opted for the bigger one, cut to length (almost length... I cut them a bit short... it never ends).

I was left with gaps. No problem. I know how to fill gaps!

Ok, so its not perfect, but its still a lot prettier to look at than what I'd been looking at for the last 4.5 years.

I also changed the handles. The rusty rings weren't working for me. I found these old bronze handles in my collection and they're perfect.

So here is that side of the bedroom, with the bin chandelier and the wardrobe. The mirror sits on the floor behind the door cause its just too heavy and I don't want to put it inside a wardrobe door and stuff up the hinges. I think I may have done that already with all the doors on and off so many times...

At least I can now cross 'finish the wardrobe' off my To Do List. It was becoming a permanent fixture there.


Sunday, 14 June 2015

scarf organisation

Everything in our home is multipurpose. I mean, it can (and often has) been used previously in many places and for many different uses.

Take this little pig with her piglets. She once lived in the kitchen to hold keys. The old enamel house number is from Wayne's childhood home, it also lived in the kitchen at one stage.

Now, they're together again as part of my new scarf hanger.

This was a quick and easy project that took me weeks to photograph and share. Between us, we have a zillion coats, jackets, beanies, hats and scarves. I made a whole lot of coat racks to hold the hats and coats, I put up an antique coat rack which I got from my grandmother's house in Greece for our scarves and beanies... but I wanted to keep my prettier scarves separate from the practical warm ones.

I looked around at what I had and found this chippy bit of timber lining. All I did to this was wash it and scrape off the loose bits of paint.

I found a thin leather belt I'd collected from a tip shop, and a small bit of leather which was probably some kind of collar, maybe... also from a tip shop. I cut these to the right length to make loops to hold scarves. Mainly cause I didn't have anything I liked to act as hooks for this project.

I left the buckles on a couple of the leather straps just for something different.

I added the pig for other odds and ends and added the number just because.

Its the first thing you see when you walk into the mudroom, hanging between the door to the house and the door to the toilet. Below it, on a small cabinet, is a rustic box Wayne revived, now holding gloves. That box used to be my 'in house' toolbox in a previous life.

So there you go. A little something new for the house to make life a little more organised.

I hope.


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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

new sewing & craft box

Did you notice the pretty first aid box beside the TV in my eyelet curtain post? Its my new sewing/craft box!

This was a gift from a couple of good friends. It was among some work things which were going to be thrown out. They took it home, cleaned it up and had planned to use it as a tool box or something, but lucky for me it really wasn't suitable. Take a look at what's inside:

It opens like a concertina, metal shelves sliding out at an angle. Problem is, the box itself plus the weight of the shelves means that if you put anything heavy on the shelves the whole thing tips over.

Obviously first aid supplies are light. How much can gauze dressings and band aids weigh?

I had planned to put beading and craft things in it, but they can be heavy too, so I went with sewing bits and pieces. You know, threads, needles, bobbins, buttons, pins, elastic, small things you have no use for, bits of ribbon and lace...

Since its heavy, and I mean HEAVY, the first thing I did was put small wheels on the bottom. I figured that once it was in the house I could just roll it from here to there and never have to lift it again.

And cause I tend to craft and sew in the living room while watching TV (no wonder the house is always a mess!) its close at hand with anything I need.

Pretty cool huh?

This is all part of my trying to organise myself and our home in such a way that I can make things without having to lug things around and spread them all over the living room all the time. When I started doing up the office I took all my crap stuff out and put it in plastic containers in the casita till I could sort it and organise the right storage for it. Its mostly still out there, but over the last couple of weeks I've been bringing in a box at a time and going through it. Some things are staying, a lot are going to work for art and craft programs there.

The stuff that's staying now has some cubby storage to keep it organised.

These are just the cheap little MDF and cardboard cubbies that they sell at Kmart. I used scrapbook paper to decorate them so they're quite cute (not the best job...) I figure I need at least one more of these, but they make it so easy to find things - everything in its own drawer.

I also have a tip shop small wardrobe which is waiting for a makeover in the casita. Its going to have some shelves put in it and get a facelift, then it'll move into the office to hold my neatly organised and sorted craft bits and pieces.

I'm getting there.